Those Who Strove for Peace

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Those Who Strove for Peace

Eleanor Roosevelt …90

Dwight D. Eisenhower …99

Dwight D. Eisenhower …113

B y 1952, both the democratic United States and the communist Soviet Union were locked in the Cold War (1945–91). The United States was ready to defend against communism anywhere in the world. With sixty member nations, the United Nations (UN), which formed in 1945 at the end of World War II (1939–45), struggled to become an important worldwide peacekeeping organization. Many critics said the UN was only a propaganda platform from which the communists could speak. Eleanor Roosevelt (1884–1962), wife of deceased U.S. president Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882–1945; served 1933–45) and herself a member of the U.S. delegation to the UN, spoke forcefully on behalf of the UN. The first excerpt here is "Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt's Address to the [1952] Democratic National Convention on the Importance of the United Nations." It is one of several speeches given in this general time period by Eleanor Roosevelt that were hailed worldwide. Even critics of the UN conceded that she made significant contributions to public thought on the future of the UN.

U.S. president Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890–1969; served 1953–61) made two famous speeches in 1953 that also nudged along the thought process about peace. The second excerpt that follows is "The Chance for Peace" address delivered before the American Society of Newspaper Editors on April 16, 1953. The third excerpt is the "Atoms for Peace" speech delivered before the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York City on December 8, 1953.

Amid an ever-escalating nuclear arms race between the two superpowers, Eisenhower nevertheless spoke eloquently in both speeches for the peace process. He advocated limiting the arms race and using nuclear power for the betterment of mankind, not its destruction. However, the fear and mutual distrust between the United States and the Soviet Union was too great. Eisenhower's thoughts were too far ahead of their time. It would be many decades before the steps he called for in the two speeches would be realized.

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Those Who Strove for Peace

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